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Remember when Wanamaker’s Christmas light show had eagles and fountains and took place all day long? In recent Decembers, Frosty and friends limited their appearance to every two hours. Last year, the pandemic forced them to go virtual. Starting December 1, they’re back at the Grand Court — but only once a day, in order to “to reduce continuous crowding,” according to a Macy’s rep. So, if you plan to meet at the show, go early and savor every moment. Or, settle for remembering when.

Christmas Light Show, Macy’s ✨

(Seasonal / in-person / multiday / free) Through December, the Wanamaker building hosts a once daily showing of its iconic, Julie Andrews-narrated, live organ-accompanied, dancing lights show. Masks required, social distancing rules in effect. Times subject to change. Ages 2+. (Free, Dec. 1-24, 10:30 a.m., Dec. 26-31, 11:30 a.m., 1300 Market St., macys.com)

Variety’s Holiday Lane 🎄

(Seasonal / in-person / multiday) The cocoa is free, and so is the live entertainment along Variety campus’ holiday loop. The first night is drive-through only. Dec. 3, a Master Builder from LEGOLand will lead a building workshop. Ages 1+. (Drive-through: $10, Dec. 1, 5-7 p.m.; walk-through: $10 ages 18+, $5 ages 2-17, free under 2, Dec 2-4, 4-8 p.m., 2950 Potshop Rd., Worcester, varietyphila.org)

Polar Express Read-Aloud, Brandywine River Museum of Art 🎄

(Books / virtual) If Chris Van Allsburg’s adventure picture book isn’t already their holiday favorite, it’s about to be. Ages 3-8. ($15 non-member family, $10 member family, Dec. 2, 7 p.m., brandywine.org)

Holly Jolly Weekend, Peddler’s Village 🎄

(Seasonal / in-person / free) The gingerbread houses are up, the lights are on, the bacon-on-a-stick food truck has confirmed, and Santa plans to parade (at 1:30 p.m.) through this Bucks County attraction. Ages 2+. (Free, Dec. 4-5, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 2400 Street Rd., New Hope, peddlersvillage.com)

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Luciafest & Christmas Market, American Swedish Historical Museum 🛍️

(Seasonal / in-person / free) Scandinavian foods — sharp cheeses, Abba herring, cloudberry preserves, dense rye bread — star in a tented market outside the FDR Park museum, part of a traditional Scandinavian celebration. Ages 4+. (Dec 4-5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., $5 ages 12+, 1900 Pattison Ave., americanswedish.org)

Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage, Merriam Theater 🎭

(Theater / in-person) The 1965 TV special gets the musical treatment, where humans play cartoon kids, and the script and music by Vince Guaraldi expand to 90 minutes. Proof of vaccination, or, for children under 12, negative PCR COVID test result, required. Ages 4-10. ($39-$69, Dec. 4, 1:30 & 5 p.m., 250 S. Broad St., kimmelculturalcampus.org)

Parade of Lights, Independence Seaport Museum ✨

(Seasonal / in-person / outdoors) Watching the procession of lit-up working boats from the banks of the Delaware is free. The preceding indoor activities, including gingerbread boat-making ($5 for non-members) and origami ornament-folding, plus a prime spot to watch the parade on the museum’s fourth-floor terrace — are worth the ticket fee. Ages 4+. (Free to watch from the waterfront, for museum entry, $18 ages 18-64, $14 seniors and ages 3-17, free ages 2 & under, Dec. 4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., parade at 5:15 p.m., 211 S. Columbus Blvd., phillyseaport.org)

Cinema for the Climate, Academy of Natural Sciences 🎬

(Science / film / in-person) Students seem to be the most proactive and visible when it comes to combating climate change, so it’s only natural Drexel kids would helm a mini film fest about the crisis. The event is two-part. There’s a morning screening (10:30 a.m.-noon) for children, featuring the hopeful, child-driven documentary 2040. Later (2-4 p.m.), grown-ups are the audience for Mossville: When Great Trees Fall. Ages 7-14 for morning program. (Dec. 4, 10:30 a.m.-noon kids and families; 2-4 p.m. adults and Drexel students, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., ansp.org)

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ONGOING

Dickens Village at Macy’s 🎄

(Seasonal / in-person / multiday / free) The Wanamaker building resumes holiday operations, partly by asking Dickens Village fans to reserve spots to navigate dimly lit hallways where animatronic dolls play out A Christmas Carol. Santa is available by virtual arrangement only. Come December, the favorite Macy’s light show will take place once daily (Dec. 1-31). Ages 5+. (Dickens Village: through Dec. 23, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., times vary Dec. 24, 26-31, 1300 Market St., macys.com)

Franklin Frost, Franklin Institute 🚂

(Science / in-person / kid-friendly / multiday) There have always been steam trains at the Franklin Institute, but through the year’s end, a new exhibit adds tracks and cars add even more steam to the collection. Models loop around a 25-foot celestial tree. Ages 2-14. ($23 ages 12+, $19 ages 3-11, free 2 & under, through Dec. 31, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 222 N. 20th St., fi.edu)

Deck the Hall Light Show, City Hall ✨

(Seasonal / in-person / free / multiday) After dark, multicolor projections metamorphose the western façade of City Hall, adding to the magic of the skating rink and winter garden. All ages. (Free, through Jan. 1, 5-9 p.m. on weekdays, until 10 on weekends, 15th and Market Sts., centercityphila.org)

Tinseltown, Greater Philadelphia Expo Center ⛸️

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly / multiday) A Montco convention center unveils a new indoor winter wonderland complete with synthetic ice-skating rink (30-minute sessions at a time, $5-$10 admission, $10 skate rental), one-million-bulb Liberty Bell, pics with Santa (and, on Thursdays, Gritty), and enough decorations to make a Hallmark Christmas movie feel underdressed. Ages 2+. ($20-$30 ages 13 & up, $14-$23 ages 5-12, free 4 & under, through Jan. 2, 2022, dates and times vary, Perkiomen Mill Loop, Oaks, tinseltownholiday.com)

The Little Mermaid, Walnut Street Theatre 🎭

(Theater / in-person / ongoing) Back into seats and Under the Sea, Walnut Street makes its kid-friendly comeback with a Disney greatest hit, starring Diana Huey as Ariel. Proof of vaccination for kids 12 and up, negative COVID-19 test for ages 11 and under, and government-issued photo ID for ages 18 and up are required. ($25-$175, through Jan. 2, 2022, 825 Walnut St., walnutstreettheatre.org)

Holiday Garden Railroad, Morris Arboretum 🚂

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly /multiday) The lush plantings and trees on the edge of Chestnut Hill get an extra dose of kid-attractiveness when Morris bedecks and reopens its G-scale trains for the holidays. The setup feels extra magical on weekends after dusk, when reservations are recommended. Ages 1+. ($20 ages 18+, $18 ages 65+, $10 ages 3-17, free 2 & under, through Jan. 2, 2022 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 100 E. Northwestern Ave., morrisarboretum.org)

A Very Furry Christmas, Sesame Place 🎁

(Seasonal / in-person / multiday) Trees and cuddly characters that sing and sway draw kids into the holiday magic at the home of Elmo, Big Bird — you know the rest of them. A family zone offers a warm spot by fire pits, hot chocolate, cookie decorating, and more Sesame friends. Rides, shops, and snack spots are open. Water park is not. Ages 0-7. ($89.99 for one-day tickets, $99.99 for two-day tickets, free 23 months & under, through Jan. 2, 100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne, sesameplace.com)

LumiNature, Philadelphia Zoo ✨

(Seasonal / in-person / multiday) When the animals go to bed, one million lights go on throughout the zoo. Ticket holders discover trees made of butterflies, flamingos, and an octopus, walk through an aquarium-like tunnel, meet 200 electric penguins, and encounter loads more bulbs made into ethereal spaces and larger-than-life creatures. ($25 ages 12 and up, $20 ages 2-11, free under 2, through Jan. 9, timed entrance from 5:30-8:30 p.m., 3400 W. Girard Ave., philadelphiazoo.org)

Wizard of Oz Educational Exhibit, Please Touch Museum 🪄

(Museum / in-person / multiday) Dorothy, Toto, and friends pay a three-month visit to Memorial Hall, bringing with them games to play and Miss Gulch’s bike to ride. Reservations required. Ages 1-10. ($19, free under age 1, through Jan. 12, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 4231 Avenue of the Republic, pleasetouchmuseum.org)

Winter in Franklin Square ✨

(Seasonal / in-person / multiday / free) Visibly glimmery from the Vine Street Expressway, Franklin Square lights up to on-the-half-hour holiday music (daily from 5 p.m.). Guests should plan to put aside a few dollars for a carousel ride, mini golf ($8-$15), and cocoa, spiked or not. All ages. (Free, through Feb. 27, Sun.-Thu. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m., 200 N. Sixth St., historicphiladelphia.org)

Dilworth Park Ice Rink ⛸️

(Seasonal / in-person / multiday) It’s time to lace up your skates and welcome winter back at Dilworth Park. Skaters of all ages can enjoy sessions on the ice rink, and cozy up in the cabin for warm drinks and food. Reservations and masks are encouraged. ($5-$17, through Feb. 27, 1 S. 15th St., centercityphila.org)

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest ⛸️

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly / multiday) Winterfest reopens for gliding (and wobbling) around the outdoor ice skating rink, playing carnival games, and spending time fireside. Ages 4+. (RiverRink: $5 admission, $10 skate rental, through March 6, 2022, 101 S. Columbus Blvd., delawareriverwaterfront.com)

Invisible World of Water, Academy of Natural Sciences 🚰

(Science / in-person / multiday) Water up super close and from way far away, as interpreted by scientists, artists, and artist-scientists give viewers new insight to the everyday magic of two-thirds of our earth and 60% of our bodies. ($20-$22 adults, $16-$18 children, free for members and under age 2, through Apr. 17, times vary, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., ansp.org)

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